Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) weighed in on North Korea seemingly backpedaling on its planned historic summit with the United States on Friday, while also urging President Donald Trump to ignore his National Security Advisor John Bolton.
MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle asked Paul if he thinks North Korea is serious about walking away from the summit and the Republican senator said he thought Kim Jong Un’s latest actions came down to gamesmanship and South Korea’s military exercises.
“Diplomacy is about saving face and about showing strength,” Paul said, noting that he’s still hopeful that the Singapore meeting still happens.
Ruhle then pressed Paul on the subject of John Bolton, who was specifically called out by North Korea recently. The Kentucky senator was blunt, calling the national security advisor’s ideas “dangerous and naive.”
Watch the exchange below:
“John Bolton is a very dangerous man. His ideas are dangerous and naive. I would hope the president will discount them,” Paul said.
“But the president chose him?” Ruhle interjected.
“I know, I realize that,” Paul said. “My hope is that there are a variety of voices. I try to be one of those voices. But I’m not there on a daily basis.”
Bolton replaced former national security adviser H.R. McMaster back in March, much to the chagrin of some members of the intelligence community, including Former CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden who warned that he could lead the nation “in a more dangerous course.”
The senator added that “every chance” he gets to speak with the president he reminds him that “a diplomatic solution is better than a military one.”
“I’m still very, very hopeful that there will be a diplomatic solution,” he added. “If he does, I think it will defy all expectations left and right. The president has gotten a great deal of criticism for the bombastic rhetoric and yet, if they come to the table and there’s actually a meaningful diplomatic solution, he’ll be able to do something nobody’s been able to do in 70 years.”